Indo-American News: June 17, 2022

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Friday, June 17, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 24

June 17, 2022


Indo American News


Published weekly from Houston, TX

Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

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ISKCON of Houston’s Ecstatic Jagannath Rath Yatra

Osmania VC’s Visit to Houston


Eva Sharma: Valedictorian

Sunday, June 12th evening turned out to be a blissful day despite the simmering heat with the auspicious and ecstatic celebration of Jagannath Ratha yatra with hundreds of Houstonians at ISKCON of Houston.




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2 June 17, 2022 COMMUNITY ISKCON of Houston’s Ecstatic Celebration of Jagannath Rath Yatra

Houston: Sunday, June 12th evening turned out to be a blissful day despite the simmering heat with the auspicious and ecstatic celebration of Jagannath Ratha yatra with hundreds of Houstonians at ISKCON of Houston. The Festival of Chariots (Ratha Yatra), is a joyous event celebrated for thousands of years in the Indian holy city of Jagannatha Puri, and more recently by Hare Krishna devotees in cities around the world. Jagannatha is another name for Lord Krishna and refers to the ecstatic form of the Lord with large eyes and rugged features who is carried on a chariot during this festival. Lord Krishna once overheard a conversation about how His dearest devotees were lamenting in His absence. When He heard these accounts of overwhelming love in separation, the Lord’s hair began to stand on end, His eyes opened wide and filled with tears, and His arms and legs contracted as He went into a state of spiritual ecstasy. Seeing Lord Krishna in this condition, His elder brother, Lord Balarama also began to feel ecstatic symptoms and displayed similar features. Their sister, Subhadra, arrived at the scene, she too became consumed with ecstatic joy. Thus the sublime deity forms of Jagannatha, Subhadra, and Baladeva represent this sweet pastime. The festival represents Lord Jagannatha’s longing to reunite with His dear devotees in Vrindavana, foremost among them, Srimati Radharani. According to tradition, the Lord gets lovesick once a year just prior to the festival. To cheer him up, His servants arrange for Him to go on a lavish procession to meet up with His devotees. Lord Jagannatha rides on a grand chariot, accompanied by onlookers and marching bands with scores of drummers, singers, and dancers. India’s colonial British rulers coined the term “juggernaut” from the large, heavy chariot used to celebrate this festival in

the city of Jagannatha Puri. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the combined incarnation of Radha-Krishna, encouraged all of His followers to celebrate Ratha-yatra with great enthusiasm. It is said that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu got down on His hands and knees to scrub the Gundicha temple where Lord Jagannatha would stay at the end of the Ratha-yatra parade. Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, was very fond of Ratha-yatra and joined thousands of disciples in cities around the world as they celebrated elaborate Ratha-yatra chariot festivals in the streets of London, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and on New York’s prestigious Fifth Avenue. Ratha-yatra signifies the Lord’s love for His devotees. He personally comes to visit His devotees and the public who welcome Him. ISKCON Houston pujaris, led by HG Papahari Caitanya Dāsa carved these beautiful Deities of Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra over the last six months. These beautiful Deities graced the members in our Houston community for the first time with Their Snana Yatra (bathing ceremony) last Sunday, June 5th with over 500 people in attendance. A joyous Ratha Yatra celebration was held on Sunday, June 12 evening with three beautiful Chariots adorned with colorful decorations prepared by our Pujaris. Hundreds of devotees from all across Houston welcomed the Deities and danced to their hearts content with ecstatic kirtan on the streets near the temple. The celebration concluded with the performance of Maha Aarati and distribution of sumptuous dinner prasadam. At the end of the celebration everyone in attendance were content with the blissful experience of love of the Jagannath - Lord of the Universe. Iskcon of Houston is located at 1320 West 34th Street and you can visit their website, for details and upcoming programs.

Osmania Alumni Celebrate VC’s Visit at a ‘FunRaiser’

Dr. D. Ravinder Yadav (his wife Rajasvi beside him) receiving a proclamation from the US Congressman Al Green’s office from Harinath Medi, President of the Osmania University Alumni Associations of North America (his wife Manju beside him) and on left, Aziz Jamaluddin, the oldest Alumni in Houston.

By Jawahar Malhotra Houston: Everybody expected Harinath Medi to deliver a welcome address to the members of the Osmania University Alumni Association Houston who came to the dinner reception last Sunday evening, but nobody expected him to carry off the opening monologue with hilarious couplets in his rusty Hindustani, with approving “wah, wahs” and “shabash” called out from the guests. Medi emphasized that the gathering was a ‘funraiser’ and not a ‘fundraiser’. They had come to meet and greet Dr. Dandeboina Ravinder Yadav, the Vice-Chancellor of the Osmania University from Hyderabad, Deccan. With their spouses in tow, the mostly 60s and above crowd renewed ties and got comfortable at Ashiana restaurant in the city’s west side on Sunday, June 12. The

90 guests had snacks and drinks and a buffet dinner afterwards. Dr. Yadav and his wife Rajasvi started their tour of 10 cities in the US on May 26, and will visit three after this stopover in Houston before returning to Hyderabad on July 20. On the trip he intended to interact withthe OU alumni and explore possibilities of collaborations between OU and various institutions and universities in the US. Dr. Yadav spoke of his 21-point agenda for the development of the university in the coming two years. The new agenda includes setting up new institutional wings like Civil Services academy, a reading room complex for students, revising academic programs and establishing an online learning platform. He also envisions transforming parts of the Arts College into

Indo-American News • Friday, June 17, 2022 •

a museum for old photos of OU. Another idea was to name buildings and rooms or venues for donors. The trip was coordinated by Medi who is the President of the Osmania University Alumni Associations of North America or OUAANA. The Houston visit was kicked off with a musical interlude by the local group Hearbeats USA (Geetha Krishnamurti and Nadeem Ashrafi) and introductions by Ragini, Medi’s daughterin-law. Sanjay Reddy, a 1988 graduate, spoke fondly of how cheap his yearly tuition was then – Rs 128 – and how the education had put him and many more like him in a good position to move ahead in their careers and lives. It laid the responsibility on them, he concluded, to help OU now.

June 17, 2022

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June 17, 2022

Tribute to ‘Lata Didi’ from an Ardent Fan in Houston By Mangala Sane Houston: We all should thank the Almighty God for bringing people like Lata Mangeshkar into our country -- India Lata has entertained and inspired millions of people in India as well as outside India for many decades. She is known as the ‘Nightingale of India’ and in Marathi, “Swar Kokila”. She is also recognized as “Maa Saraswati”. Lata was born in Indore on September 28, 1929 and worked extensively in various spheres of Indian popular and light classical music. She has sung gazals, bhajans and over 50,000 songs for Bollywood cinema for three generations of heroines from Madhubala to Zeenat Aman and Kajol. She has become the world’s most recorded artist as stated in the Guiness Book of World Records. Originally, Lata’s father Pandit Deenanath had the surname of Hardikar, but he changed it to honor his native Goa town of Mangeshi. Lata’s childhood name was, in fact, Hema. She was renamed after one of the characters in her father’s plays named Latika. With the blessings of her own father, Lata tasted the first fruits of classical music. However, the

sky fell on her in 1942 when her father passed away. Lata was only 13 and had to assume the mantle of responsibility for her family. Upon moving to Mumbai in 1945, Lata began studying Hindustani classical music under Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. Following partition, he migrated to Pakistan. Then, Lata began to study under Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, and Amanat Khan Devaswale. Lata got her first break in 1948 when she sang a song in the Hindi film titled ‘Majboor’ composed by Ghulam Haidar. We all know what happened after that! Her life has never been the same since. Lata has created for herself a place of honor etched in ‘gold’! Lata’s versatality as a singer is demonsrated by the fact that she has sung in a number of languages from love songs and blues to Bhakti or devotional songs. Nothing seems to have been left untouched

or unexplored by her. She has sung Dyaneshwari in Marathi as composed by her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar. In 2007, Lata released an album ‘Saadgi’, which contained eight gazhals written by Javed Akhtar. She released an album in 2011 called ‘Sarhadein’, music beyond boundaries, which includes a duet with Mehdi Hassan. Lata launched her own record label ‘LM Music’ with an album of bhajans, which she sang with her sister Usha Mangeshkar. Lata was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2000 for her contributions to vocal arts and melody. In 2001, she received the Bharat Ratna, the highest honor for achievements in Indian culture. Despite having such a great reputation, Lata appeared still to be a simple person at heart. She is famous for wearing white sarees and diamonds. My sadar pranam to ‘Lata Didi’ May God bless her soul with peace. Mangala Sane is the Director of Sargam School of Music, which teaches Hindustani classical vocal music and provides harmonium keyboard lessons. Contact: 281-498-6126 or 713-851-8211.

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June 17, 2022

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June 17, 2022

Pratishtha (Eva) Sharma is Valedictorian of CHECHS Clear Lake City: Pratishtha (Eva) Sharma graduated as the “Valedictorian” of Clear Horizons Early College High School (CHECHS) of Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD) and also received her Associate Degree from San Jacinto College. Although she graduated college at seventeen, she was one of San Jac’s few students to graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA. At Clear Horizons, Eva served as the Class of 2022’s Student council Class President for three years National Honor Society (NHS) President, Business Professionals of America (BPA) President, and Executive Student Council President.

To fuel her outside interests, Eva pursued Bollywood dancing

with the Indian Community of Clear Lake and stayed involved in theatre arts by performing in musicals, dramas, and kirtans at the ISKCON Hare Krishna Dham Temple in Houston. In addition to pursuing two years of college and four years of high school simultaneously, Eva also graduated from John Casablancas School for Modeling and Acting in 2019 and signed up to the Model Talent Management Agency of Houston, Texas. For her ability to balance school and her passions, Eva received the Academic Miss Texas Junior Teen award from the National American Miss organization in 2019

Shruti Sharma Tops Final Result of UPSC Examination New Delhi: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has declared the final results for the UPSC Civil Services exam 2021 today, May 30. This year the examination saw women securing the top ranks. Shruti Sharma stood first in the civil services examination 2021, followed by Ankita Agrawal and Gamini Singla. Followed by Aishwarya Verma and Utkarsh Dwivedi. Results of the main interview and personality test rounds of the UPSC CSE have been published. After the main exam result was announced on March 17, those who cleared it were invited to a personality test (interview) from April 5 to May 26, 2022. This Year, at least 9 students have qualified for the CSE 2021 exams conducted by the UPSC. The highest rank from Manipur was secured by Wairokpam Pun-

shiba Singh at AIR 238. Dhiman Chakma and Sumit Paul from Tripura secured AIR 482 and AIR 530 in the UPSC exam this year as well. A total of 685 candidates qualified for UPSC Civil Services 2021-22. The Indian Police Service (IPS) has selected 200 candidates while the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) has selected 37 candidates. According to UPSC,

80 candidates’ candidatures are provisional and one candidate’s results have been withheld. As many as 685 candidates have qualified for the prestigious test this year said the Commission. According to the Commission, 244 of the successful candidates are from the general category, 73 are from the Economically Weaker Sections, 203 are from Other Backward Classes, 105 are from Scheduled Castes, and 60 are from Scheduled Tribes. The UPSC CSE preliminary exam took place on October 10, 2021, and the results were published on October 29. Results of the main examination were announced on March 17, 2022, after it was held between January 7 and 16, 2022. Interviews were the last round of the testing process, which began on April 5 and ended on May 26.


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June 17, 2022

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June 17, 2022

Dancer Rukmini Vijaykumar: “Mesmerizing” By Jyoti Kulkarni

Houston: Indo-American Association of Houston’s presentation of “Krishna:A Calling to Lord Krishna”, last Friday on June 9 at the Match theater, was truly mesmerizing. The classical dance performance featured Bharat Natyam dancer Rukmini Vijaykumar. Born in Hyderabad, India, Rukmini studied Bharatnatyam under Guru Narmada, Guru Padmini Rao and practiced Karanas for several years under the tutelage of Guru Sundari Shantaram a senior disciple of Guru Padma Subramanyam Rukmini also holds a BFA degree from the Boston Conservatory in Ballet and Modern Dance. She has studied acting at the New York Film Academy, Los Angeles and director Prakash Belawadi, in India. She also studied Fitness Training at UCLA and Anatomy and Physiology at Boston University. She is the artistic director of her dance company Raadha Kalpa, where she teaches, choreographs and creates new Bharatnatyam, Modern and experimental theater work. “I enjoy telling stories through

movement. I can articulate better with dancee,” explained Rukmini between her performances. This rendition of Krishna is a collection of traditional pieces seen from perspective of eminent poets who portrayed His Omnipresence in different forms. It began with Andal Kautvam’s words and Rukmini’s well choreographed dance created a portrayal of a devotee, who imagines Krishna as her groom. This was followed by a Varnam by Lalgudi Jayaraman, where Rukmini danced beautifully and carried the audience with her on a Gopika’a journey to self real-

ization through her longing for Krishna. The audience was then treated to a very playful conversation between Krishna and Yashodama (son and mother) based on a Tamil folk song. Rukmini’s portrayal of a mother lovingly yet firmly trying to dissuade a demanding young Krishna was heartwarming. Rukmini then performed Lalita Lavanga an ashtapadi so beautifully that it was poetry in dance movement as a sakhi pleads with Radha to let go ofher anger to make up with Krishna. The performance ended on an unusual and zestful Kalinga Nartana Tillana of Oothukadu Ventaka Kavi, followed by a shloka on surrender. This was Indo-American Association’s fourth performance introducing up and coming performing artistes. IAA Houston’s next event is Andean-Indian ... Melodies of Folklore from India and South America on July 9, 2022 at 8 pm at the Match theater. Please visit to find out more about IAA’s future performances and how you can become patron member or call 832315-6582.



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June 17, 2022

Zee5 Global Partners with Spring Day Festival

Toronto: After almost a year of winning the hearts of South Asians across the U.S. as their go-to destination for streaming, ZEE5 Global, the world’s largest streaming platform for South-Asian content, is thrilled to announce its sponsorship at two of the biggest festivals in the U.S. and Canada. Aiming to highlight South Asia’s rich culture and food heritage, the platform is the title sponsor for Spring Day India Festival in San Francisco, to be held on June 11. With a flash mob on the catchy song Nato Nato from megablockbuster hit and SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus RRR that’s available on the platform, ZEE5 Global will be offering free kulfis to new subscribers at the event. In Canada’s Mississauga Halal Fest on June 11 and 12, ZEE5 Global will be the official media sponsor for the event. Bringing together a variety of food from a wide range of partners, the event will be a cultural fest with traditional and contemporary music concerts. Bringing free goodies to new app subscribers at the event, the platform will also organise a fun and quirky ludo competition where all the teams will be named after ZEE5 Global’s latest shows and films. Not just this, there will also be a prize draw for VIP tickets for the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s show for every new subscriber on both days of the fest. Archana Anand, Chief Business

Officer, ZEE5 Global, said, “As the only standalone destination for South Asian content in the U.S., ZEE5 Global has been widely loved for its content across the country. Expanding our connection with South-Asian audiences across the country, we are thrilled to be the title sponsors of the Spring Day India Festival in San Francisco and Mississauga Halal Fest in Canada. The two festivals are extremely popular amongst the South Asians, and form great synergies with our brand. “ The U.S. is the second-largest market for ZEE5 after India, making it the most significant contributor to the platform’s international subscription revenue and viewership. Home to the biggest blockbusters, latest originals and web series across languages and genres like The Kashmir Files, RRR , Jhund and more, ZEE5 Global,

offers an unparalleled 200,000 hours of content with 100+ hours of new content added daily. ~ Catch all the latest films and shows across languages and genres only on ZEE5 Global ~ Users can seamlessly download the ZEE5 app from Google Play Store / iOS App Store on Roku devices, Apple TVs, Android TVs, and Amazon Fire Stick. ZEE5 is also available on w w w. Z E E 5 . com. ZEE5 Global is the digital entertainment destination launched by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), a global Media and Entertainment powerhouse. The platform launched across 190+ countries in October 2018 and has content across 18 languages: Hindi, English, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, including six international languages Malay, Thai, Bahasa, Urdu, Bangla and Arabic. ZEE5 Global is home to 170,000+ hours of on-demand content. The platform brings together the best of Originals, Movies and TV Shows, Music, Cineplays and Health and Lifestyle content all in one single destination. ZEE5 offers key features like 15 navigational languages, content download option, seamless video playback and Voice Search.


Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine.

Send us the correct answer before June 14, 2022. Email us at Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published.

Solution Next Week

Last Week’s Solution

‘Rocketry’ Presented on New York Times Square New York: Actor, Producer, Writer and now Director R. Madhavan (@actormaddy) was in the US last week promoting his film: Rocketry: The Nambi Effect. As part of the publicity, he took to Times Square with Padma Bhushan Dr. Nambi Narayanan to project the film trailer on the Nasdaq Market site screen. Rocketry: The Nambi Effect is an upcoming Indian biographical drama film based on the life of Nambi Narayanan, a former scientist and aerospace engineer of the Indian Space Research Organisation, who was falsely accused of espionage. The story spans across Narayanan’s days as a graduate student at Princeton University, before exploring his work as a scientist and the false espionage charges placed upon him. Pictures and Video can be downloaded from the link below Rocketry: The Nambi Effect releases worldwide on July 1.

Last Week’s Winners

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June 17, 2022

USA vs. Nepal Cricket Match at Moosa Stadium

Houston: USA vs. Nepal cricket game was held on Saturday June 11th 2022 at Moosa Stadium, Pearland, Texas. Many from Nepal were present to support the team. The match ended up in a tie. Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole and City councilman Joseph Koza watched the game with Sakhi (Shak) Muhammad, President, Smart Choice Auto Group , Chatur Bahadur Chand, President, Cricket Association of Nepal, Zafar Tahir, Commissioner Houston Planning and Houston Airports, Richard Done, Operations Director, USA Cricket and Sam Kannappan President Pearland Cricket club. The United States of America’s Men’s National Cricket team was playing its first ever series of international matches in the state of Texas, as consecutive ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 series are being hosted in Houston, Texas, from May 28th to 16th June, 2022 this year. The matches are very historic in nature and will see both the first ever international cricket matches in Texas and the first ever One Day Internationals hosted at the Moosa Stadium in Texas. This event forms part of the elite qualification pathway to the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, and USA are seeking important wins to get up the table in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.


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